Two things are apparent so far this MLB post-season:
1. as always, the championship series provides better baseball than the World Series and;
2. if the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies meet in the World Series get ready for the longest games in post-season history. The Phillies lineup is the closest thing I've seen to an American League lineup in terms of "length" - the ability to grind out at-bats and have productive outs from top to bottom (pitchers excluded, of course.)
Monday's games were a study in post-season managing and it's interesting how Mike Scioscia suddenly went from obstinate to patient with one swing of Vladimir Guerrero's bat. The Yankees' Joe Girardi has made something like 41 player/pitcher moves so far this post-season and fair play to Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record and Fox Sports for wondering if he isn't overplaying his hand. Funny, because people I know with the Florida Marlins say one of the reasons Girardi was fired after winning manager of the year is his players, coaches and front office became tired of his micro-managing. This is the guy who removed the candy from the Yankees spring training clubhouse and ordered the team to chew sugarless gum only ….
Couple of other nooner items:
* I'd put nothing past the IOC, but all I can say is if the details alleged in a book by retired sports minister and president of the Chinese Olympic Committee Yuan Weimin are true … and that Beijing made a backroom deal to derail Toronto's bid for the 2008 Olympics … all I can say is, thank god. If a city can't fix its roads, put in a real subway system, take care of the homeless and figure out how to take the garbage it has no business pretending to be an Olympic city. Canadian taxpayers owe a hearty thanks to Mr. Weimin or whoever else was involved;
* If Manny Acta doesn't get the Cleveland Indians managing job, I wouldn't be surprised if he figures in any reworking of the Toronto Blue Jays coaching staff. Never mind that new Jays assistant GM Dana Brown worked with Acta in Montreal and with the Washington Nationals; Acta is also known to Alex Anthopoulos and Tony LaCava;
* The Colorado Avalanche are making the right move in keeping Matt Duchene in the NHL, based on what I saw in person against the Maple Leafs and from TV. He has a better awareness of what's going on around him right now than Leafs pick Nazem Kadri showed, in terms of self-preservation. Kadri just wasn't ready for the physical rigours of the NHL … but he will be next season, and none too soon;
* Finally, I have to respectfully disagree with friend Jeff Passan's analysis of Joe Torre's managing but ain't nothin' a few Pabst Blue Ribbons won't settle ….
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